Our river cruise was really great. Hope this review does not become too much of a love fest, but we obviously enjoyed this adventure more than we even expected.
The trip from Bucharest/Black Sea to Budapest was an area of the world we had not seen. Avalon was one of few that actually started in Bucharest, went to Black Sea and then up Danube to Budapest. The area of the Danube Delta ecosystem is fascinating/well worth seeing.
Avalon Passion - simply put it is a first class ship. Quite new (2016) and it shows. All parts are really nicely laid out with plenty of room to move around/find your own space. Open air balconies are really nice for the categories.
We received an upgrade to a Panorama Suite on Sapphire Deck which was very nice. Cabin was well laid out and had sufficient room for the time we spent in it. Bed was excellent as was storage space. The wall-to-wall windows/open air balcony are tremendous and really make the cabin seem even larger. Bathroom was larger than expected/well appointed. A lot of thought went into these cabins and it shows. Outstanding. Probably would have been fine with the Deluxe stateroom since we spent very little awake time in the cabin, but sure enjoyed the larger cabin/view.
We hired a private guide, Sylvana Rapeanu, to show us around Bucharest. She did a really nice job of showing us the highlights/interesting areas of the city in one day. She was very flexible in what we wanted to see, plus a few of her favorites also. We walked through the Old Town area, heard the past recent history of Romania/Bucharest, visited the Synagogue which was better than expected, visited the Village Museum (again a "do not miss") and drove around city to see other major sites (Palace of Parliament, etc.) Wish we would have had more time, but Sylvana did a great job of explaining and getting the most out of our day.